ASAP Rocky x Calvin Klein: An Always Striving and Prosper Partnership – Raff Simmons and A$AP Rocky (whose real name is Rakim Meyers) share a unique relationship in the fashion industry. It might seem unlikely at first, but the Harlem superstar and the Belgium-born creative director share an almost designer-muse relationship since 2016. From MOB appearances (A$AP MOB, the Harlem collective to which Rocky’s leader) to flash campaigns, the New Yorker has developed quite a partnership with the high-end brand, almost becoming a symbol to it.
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The hip-hop superstar is known for being a trendsetter. He helped several cult brands reach audiences that they have never reached and can wear pretty much about anything. From Louis Vuitton to full, head-to-toe (and backpack) Prada outfits, the MOB frontman has shined through the streets of pretty much about everywhere. Being a usual presence at the big fashion houses runway shows, his relationship with fashion goes way beyond outfits. From 2013 to 2015, Rocky was in a relationship with Chanel Iman, a top model and Victoria Secret’s Angel.
Rocky’s the rare artist who not only fears no fit, but has the swagger to pull off just about anything, from cosy boy flannels, track pants, and puffer vests to advanced luxury wares (see: all the fur coats). And Simons is the one most often supplying the rapper with his latest Instagram-worthy gear, be it from his namesake line, his premium Calvin Klein 205W39NYC collection, or, lately, any of the other remade-by-Raf lines under the ever-expanding CK umbrella (Like Calvin Klein Jeans Est. 1978, or Calvin Klein Jeans [which is not the same as Calvin Klein Jeans Est. 1978]). It’s a win-win for everyone involved—especially the Instagram accounts tracking Rocky’s every stylish move.
But without having Raf on speed dial or the bank account that comes with being a globally beloved musician—and the sponsorships and sneaker deals that come with it—getting your hands on the same kind of levelled-up menswear isn’t easy. The fine people at Calvin want to fix that. First, they’re linking and building with Amazon to create a “marketplace” in N.Y.C.’s Flatiron neighbourhood that brings the Calvin Klein Jeans Fall campaign to life with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a social media-friendly setup (floating popcorn photo booth, Alexa-controlled lights and music).
Rocky on an all Calvin Klein outfit
A$AP MOB in the 2017 #MYCALVINS campaign
Despite not being his only collaboration (Rocky also collaborated in 2016 with GUESS), this is one of the longest and most thriving collaborations in the fashion business. Thanks to Rakim’s global reach, Calvin Klein can access some audiences that have never been thought by the brand, allowing younger generations to look at the brand as one to follow and to shop.
But back to Rocky. The pièce de résistance of the whole partnership is a limited-edition trucker jacket designed by Raf especially for the rapper, and actually being offered up for sale only by Amazon Fashion. (Emphasis on the limited edition-ness: these things are going to move fast if they already didn’t sell out).
From the front, it’s your standard-issue blue denim jacket. From the back, it’s a graphic branding exercise touting the yellow-and-black circle (sourced from crash test dummies) as seen on Rocky’s “Testing” album artwork. That bit’s framed between the Calvin Klein Jeans logo across the shoulders and the same one on a patch by the bottom right hem.
It adds up to a merch-but-not-merch one-off that’s guaranteed to appeal to Raf acolytes and Rocky stans alike when it terms of sales.
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